The yearly task of choosing a new GUSA president and vice president is upon us. The campaign promises are flying, and few dorm rooms have been spared a visit from at least one of this year’s four pairs of candidates. In a race that has been marked by plenty of talk but not much in way of original ideas, one ticket stands out simply for its ability to inspire some measure of interest in the rest of the student community. Even those students who know nothing about Ben Shaw (COL ’08) and Matthew Appenfeller (COL ’08) have probably become familiar with their “I Love Georgetown, but .” campaign, advertised across campus. The two have used their campaign Web site and Facebook group to collect input and suggestions directly from as many students as possible. Despite lingering misgivings about the Student Association, hundreds of students have contributed their opinions and ideas or joined the ticket’s Facebook group. In the past two weeks, Shaw and Appenfeller have shown that it may be possible to rally segments of Georgetown behind something related to GUSA. But behind the showmanship, the two have focused on making real connections to a wide range of students – and not just those looking for a GUSA position with which to pad their resumes. Shaw and Appenfeller have even said that, if elected, they’ll shrink the executive branch down from a bloated departmental bureaucracy into smaller committees of involved students working on specific projects. Of the four tickets this year, the three who agreed to be interviewed by THE HOYA all said that GUSA plays the role of a lobbying organization, and not an actual policy-making body. One major obstacle that has always hindered GUSA’s ability to advocate effectively is the apathy of the student body it is supposed to represent. The Shaw-Appenfeller ticket is the only one that has displayed an ability to overcome this hurdle and actually get students to show a modicum of enthusiasm for what GUSA can do. Once elected, however, it will be incumbent upon the new executives to keep drumming up and organizing the interest they have harnessed in the campaign. The responsibility will also fall on the rest of the student body to keep voicing their concerns. It is easy to get involved through a Facebook wall message, but if Shaw and Appenfeller hope to accomplish more than their predecessors have, they will need that same enthusiasm at their backs for their entire term. This ticket very clearly wants to increase involvement and speak for the concerns of Georgetown students. The hundreds of people taking interest in their campaign must make it known that Shaw and Appenfeller are speaking for a larger student population. That’s where the “but” comes in. We love Ben and att, but if they can’t keep the hope alive, then don’t expect them to raise GUSA’s pitifully low bar of accomplishment over the next year. We love Ben and Matt, but don’t get the wrong impression: The best part of their campaign isn’t their ideas, which basically amount to the same laundry list of promises made in every GUSA campaign in recent memory. What makes their campaign admirable is that they have made people excited about GUSA.

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